TO:                 Candidates for Tenure and/or Promotion
FROM:           Faculty Status Committee (FSC)
SUBJECT:      Submission of Dossier
DATE:             May 1, 2013

Tenure and/or promotion at Furman involves action by the candidate, the chair of the candidate’s department, the department acting jointly, the individual tenured members of the department, the Faculty Status Committee, the Dean of the Faculty, the President, and the Board of Trustees. Each candidate should accept primary responsibility for assembling, organizing, and submitting all needed information. Deadlines for submission, usually in the fall term, are available from department chairs. You are encouraged to begin by reviewing several policies from the Policies and Procedures System.

100.0   Faculty Security
122.2   Surveys of Student Opinion of Instruction
152.2   Evaluation of Faculty
157.3   Promotion
157.4   Probationary Appointment
157.8   Faculty Rank
158.4   Tenure
167.8   Expectations of Scholarly and Creative Activity
198.2   Faculty Status Committee Operating Procedures

The following guidelines specifically address the materials and schedule required by the Faculty Status Committee for its part in the process.

1.   Timing

See File 158.4 (Tenure) of the Policies and Procedures System for detailed information on tenure eligibility. If there is any question concerning when you must be considered for tenure, consult your chair or the Dean.

See File 157.3 (Promotion) of the Policies and Procedures System for detailed information concerning promotion.

2.   Format

You should prepare a complete but concise dossier that includes your letter explaining why you believe you should be tenured and/or promoted, a complete curriculum vita, and your faculty evaluation forms (Parts I and II). FSC recommends that candidates for promotion include all formal student opinion surveys of instruction for the last three years, and that tenure candidates include all formal student opinion surveys of instruction from their years at Furman. In the case of candidates for promotion, the committee would like to review all faculty evaluations (Parts I and II) at the current rank; in the case of candidates for tenure, all since the date of their hiring. If you do not have copies of your faculty evaluations, request copies from your chair or from the Dean’s office. You may also include other information that you think appropriate. (See File 157.3 for examples.) Other materials that the dossier must eventually contain include a letter from the chair explaining the departmental vote that has been taken in your case and letters from each voting member of your department explaining his or her vote. These letters are submitted directly to the Dean’s office. Because some of these materials may be confidential and therefore not available to the candidate, please work with your department chair(s) to ensure that all appropriate materials are assembled. The Dean’s office can assist you by advising you what, if anything, is still missing.

3.  Teaching Effectiveness

Teaching effectiveness is the most important criterion, but it is admittedly difficult to validate. The committee considers student opinion surveys of instruction but does not regard them as definitive. Your chair and department colleagues are the best-qualified judges of your teaching, but their comments are far more valuable if they have seen enough of it to write authoritatively. The committee encourages you to invite colleagues to your classes, to share with them your tests and syllabi, to seek their advice on pedagogical questions, or otherwise to prepare them to give a meaningful evaluation of your teaching.

4.  Professional Activity

The committee often needs help in understanding the significance of the scholarly, creative, or other professional activity that you report. What is the contribution of your activity to your discipline, the university, or your professional growth? How has your achievement been recognized within your discipline or the university? Was it juried, refereed, or reviewed? By whom? How important are the organizations in which you hold office? To answer these questions, statements from your department chair and from others at Furman who know your work are very helpful.

Letters from extramural evaluators have become an important part of the evaluation process for tenure and promotion. You should work with your department chair to help identify outside experts who can evaluate the quality of your scholarly and creative activities. The Faculty Status Committee has provided guidelines to department chairs for this process.

5.  Institutional Service

Concentrate on extraordinary departmental contributions and significant university-wide service through committees, task forces, or comparable activities. Statements from chairs of committees on which you have served may be meaningful if your work has been more than routine. Also, if you are a particularly effective advisor, provide evidence. Your chair, your department colleagues, and the Assistant Academic Dean for Advising may be of assistance.

6.   Community Service

The committee considers this area if the work you have done is professionally meaningful or significantly benefits Furman. To establish that you have done meaningful service, you may wish to obtain letters from outside sources, whose qualifications and perspectives should be made clear.

The deadline for submitting all materials to the Dean of Faculty will be January 17, 2014.

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